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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > WTF? G4 sucks twice as much power as a Pentium? Can't be.

WTF? G4 sucks twice as much power as a Pentium? Can't be.
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Spliff
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May 2, 2003, 12:32 AM
 
http://birdhouse.org/blog/archives/000825.php

Check out the above link.

Scot Hacker wants to know why his single 867 MHz G4 setup draws nearly double the power that a 1.8 GHz Pentium draws, especially considering that the G4 processor is supposed to be much more energy efficient than Pentiums.

Which part of his setup is sucking so much juice? The DSL modem? The router? The LCD monitor? Or the G4 PowerMac?
     
Catfish_Man
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May 2, 2003, 12:48 AM
 
Originally posted by Spliff:
http://birdhouse.org/blog/archives/000825.php

Check out the above link.

Scot Hacker wants to know why his single 867 MHz G4 setup draws nearly double the power that a 1.8 GHz Pentium draws, especially considering that the G4 processor is supposed to be much more energy efficient than Pentiums.

Which part of his setup is sucking so much juice? The DSL modem? The router? The LCD monitor? Or the G4 PowerMac?
The chip itself is a fairly minimal amount of the total power usage (a MDD G4 has 360 watt powersupply. The G4 typically draws 20-40 watts depending on speed).
     
Thinine
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May 2, 2003, 03:22 AM
 
If the monitor is connected using ADC, it's drawing power from the computer itself, perhaps throwing the readings off.
     
BobK
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May 2, 2003, 10:18 AM
 
Hook up a VGA monitor and check the readings.
     
Amorph
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May 2, 2003, 02:13 PM
 
The ADC connector draws 130W all by itself. That's probably the culprit. (That's why hooking up a VGA monitor might give you a better picture.)
James

"I grew up. Then I got better." - Sea Wasp
     
shacker
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May 3, 2003, 01:40 AM
 
Originally posted by Amorph:
The ADC connector draws 130W all by itself. That's probably the culprit. (That's why hooking up a VGA monitor might give you a better picture.)
Amorph, how is this possible? I know the ADC connector carries power for the monitor and USB, but does that mean it IS carrying power at all times even if no USB devices are plugged in and the monitor is asleep? That doesn't seem right somehow.
     
Spliffdaddy
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May 3, 2003, 10:13 AM
 
Originally posted by shacker:
Amorph, how is this possible? I know the ADC connector carries power for the monitor and USB, but does that mean it IS carrying power at all times even if no USB devices are plugged in and the monitor is asleep? That doesn't seem right somehow.
I agree. It isn't right. There is no good reason why the Mac should draw more current than a similar peecee.

That being said, I can run my 2.53 P4 (one optical, one hard drive, gig of RAM) and a 15" LCD from a little 300watt DC/AC inverter.

I also have a 800MHz Via Epia mini-ITX (6" x 6") platform that can run off of a 60watt power supply (not incl monitor). $105, just add RAM, a micro-ATX power supply, and a hard drive. Makes a great low-power linux server. Perhaps there's an opportunity to offer real solar-powered webhosting on the cheap. Look for VIA Epia mini-ITX platforms...they make at least four different versions.

I crammed everything into a 4x6x8 cube - and still had room for a PCI TV-tuner card and the powersupply brick for a 12" LCD monitor. An Apple Cube is 8x8x10 (ok, it does have an optical drive)

( Last edited by Spliffdaddy; May 3, 2003 at 10:36 AM. )
     
Tom N
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May 3, 2003, 10:55 AM
 
And your point is what?

We have no idea from this little blog entry what was being measured, how it was being measured, nor how his G4 was configured, how many hard drives, memory, cards, Etc. He was also running it with a display. I have no idea why you would run a server with a display but he evidently did. he is also including a router and modem in his total, but then only tells us what a 1.8 pentium draws, umm what type, how is it configured, does he include a display, router, and modem in the mix, who the hell knows as he certainly didn't tell us.

Information like this blog provides is not usable information at all, at best it is antidotal in nature and has no repeatable test that can be performed to validate the conclusion. At worst it is the beginning of yet another "old Wifes' Tale" spread through the Internet at the speed of gullibility.

Tom N.
     
shacker
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May 3, 2003, 08:10 PM
 
Tom N, I think you mean anecdotal, not antidotal!

Instead of impugning my blog, why not just ask me for more information?

No, my experience was anything but scientific. I borrowed the Watts Up and had to take it back. It was in the process of returning it that we quickly plugged in the Pentium. If I could borrow it again I'd do more isolated testing.

To answer your question, here's exactly what was plugged in to the power strip:

G4 867 w/1GB RAM and two HDDs. 17" Studio Display which was *usually* asleep. Linksys BEFSR41 router, Alcatel 1000 DSL modem.

The display is on the server because the server is also my main workstation (it's not high traffic - less than 100,000 hits/day -- when traffic picks up I'll get a dedicated server).

Scot
     
Tom N
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May 4, 2003, 09:23 AM
 
Hi Scot,

I didn't ask you because I didn't know it was your blog. To me this looked like someone reading your blog, then running screaming through the night telling us the sky is falling the sky is falling, all because of an Internet blog entry.

My point is simple, and while your blog was the unfortunate original source for this person rush to tell the world about the terror of power consumption, it could have been any blog, any Internet posting, or any form of communication... Be skeptical of what is being passed on as truth.

just to toss some numbers your way to help out. Your Linksys Router is supplied with a power supply rated to draw 40 watts. Given most power requirements include a 20 percent overhead design factor, the router could draw around 32 W when routing data and applying any filters or other computation intense activity. I couldn't find info on your DSL modem, but just checking my own reveals a draw of 33 W during data transfer. Your studio display draws 40 W when in use and 10 W when asleep. So it looks like you have from 65 to 95 W between your monitor, modem and router, depending on traffic and monitor activity. However, these numbers are not actual loads and you could have less depending on your usage.

Good luck with your project.

Tom N.
     
l008com
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May 5, 2003, 03:33 AM
 
Since when is 4x6x8 a cube?
     
Kenneth
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May 5, 2003, 04:08 AM
 
Hmm... my DP 1.25Ghz FW800 with 2 HDs and using the Apple 17" Studio Display LCD are running 24/7 w/o going to sleep mode. Of course, the display goto sleep after 3 mins and I set the brightness control to the lowest since day 1.

I'm wondering how the old 17" Studio Display CRT getting power from the ADC interface... esp with the Cube.

     
shacker
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May 5, 2003, 05:40 AM
 
Thanks *very* much for that info, Tom N. This changes the picture dramatically. I'm tempted to go down there and borrow the Watts Up again to verify. If so, this could cut the implementation cost of the project by half.

Regards,
Scot
     
nvaughan3
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May 5, 2003, 01:01 PM
 
Originally posted by l008com:
Since when is 4x6x8 a cube?
since when is 8x8x10 a cube?
"Americans love their country and fear their government. Liberals love their government and fear the people."

""Gun control is a band-aid, feeling good approach to the nation's crime problem. It is easier for politicians to ban something than it is to condemn a murderer to death or a robber to life in prison. In essence, 'gun control' is the coward's way out.""
     
l008com
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May 5, 2003, 06:40 PM
 
Originally posted by nvaughan3:
since when is 8x8x10 a cube?
Its closer than 4X6X8!
     
Spliffdaddy
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May 6, 2003, 12:35 AM
 
Originally posted by l008com:
Its closer than 4X6X8!
but if I add a optical drive it measures 6 x 6 x 8

that's 2 inches smaller than a Apple Cube in every dimension. and it tunes 150 channels of television. records, too.
     
l008com
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May 6, 2003, 12:37 AM
 
True but keep in mind apple's cube design is getting old, its probably 3 or 4 or even 5 years old by now. If they made a revised one, I'm sure it would have alot more goodies.
     
bartman00
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May 6, 2003, 05:43 AM
 
You could say the apple cube is really 8x8x8.. and the last 2" are the base extention.. .the actual core or the cube is 8x8x8.... only the empty clear bottom adds the extra 2"

Bart
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